BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL INFLUENCES ON CHILDREN’S EVENT RECALL AND RECALL PERSPECTIVE FOR EMOTIONAL EVENTS
Cordwell, Terri Lee 1983-
The findings of studies examining the impact of emotion on memory are mixed. One possible reason for the inconsistent findings is that individual differences in memory for emotional events have not been taken into account (Goodman, Quas, Batterman-Faunce, Riddlesberger & Kuhn, 1997). Another possible reason for the inconsistent findings in the literature may be that arousal and valence, the two components of emotion, are not measured independently (Brainerd, Holliday, Reyna, Yang, & Toglia, 2010). The main purpose of the current study was to determine the manner in which factors that exist before (i.e., age, gender, attachment, temperament), during (i.e., emotional valence, emotional arousal), and following an event (i.e., interview techniques, recall perspectives) account for variance in children’s recall of emotional events and which factors account for the most variance. Further objectives of this study were to examine the manner in which emotion, age of the memory and age and gender of the child account for variance in the recall perspective children use to retrieve emotional memories as well as whether field and observer recall perspectives differ in terms of the amount of anxiety children experience during recall. One hundred children completed self-report measures and described two positive and two negative events; one of each was highly arousing and one was minimally arousing. Age and temperament were the strongest predictors of children’s overall event recall, recall of different memory components, and recall of central and peripheral details. Consistent with the hypotheses presented, older children, and children with increased behavioural flexibility, approach tendencies, and a more positive quality of mood reported more details in their event narratives. Increases in the intensity of valence and arousal in negative memories were associated with enhanced event recall. Further, once variance in the number of details recalled, shared by valence and arousal, was removed emotional valence best accounted for increases in the number of details children recall from negative events. Children who used the first person (field) recall perspective recalled more contextual and behavioural details of memories with negative valence and high arousal and more sensory/somatosensory details of memories with positive valence and high arousal than children who used the third person (observer) recall perspective. The Comprehensive Narrative Elaboration Technique was associated with increased reports of sensory details and more cognitive details of memories with negative valence and low arousal compared to the Narrative Elaboration Technique. Of the variables examined, only age of the memory was related to the recall perspective naturally chosen by children, highlighting differences between the adult and child literature. The degree of anxiety experienced by children did not vary as a result of recall perspective. It is important to understand the manner in which predisposing, precipitating, and perpetuating factors influence children’s recall. In forensic contexts, the quantity and quality of the information obtained from child witnesses during forensic interviews is often crucial to the outcome of a case (Marche, & Salmon, 2003). Information was obtained regarding the relative importance of variables that influence children’s memory which may assist researchers, clinicians, and interviewers in their understanding of children’s ability to recall event details.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CommitteeOlver, Mark; O'Connell, Megan; Khanenko-Friesen, Natalia; Farthing, Gerald
Copyright DateOctober 2017
Emotional Autobiographical Memory